Residents encouraged to be ready for digital switchover
Terrestrial television in Northern Ireland is set to be switched off this year, and local residents are encouraged to be ready for the switch over. All television signals will be digital based from October this year in the biggest change in television since the switch to colour.
If you are without a digital TV come October, you will lose all your terrestrial channels. Terrestrial channels are typically the five standard channels, BBC1, BBC2, UTV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, and in most parts of Newry & Mourne, RTE, TV3 and TG4 as well. Most televisions can be switched to digital by simply connecting a Freeview box to your set, however you may need a digital aerial installed depending on where you live. Alternatively you can switch to digital using existing satellite and cable services.
You may also be out of the coverage area for Freeview, however the coverage area is set to cover the majority of Northern Ireland in time for the switch over. You can keep check on the coverage at digitaluk.co.uk.
The BBC are also running a Switchover Help Scheme to help older and disabled viewers during the switch over.
Most people will be asked to pay £40 towards the help, which includes:
• Easy-to-use equipment to covert one set
• An approved installer to supply and install the necessary equipment, and
• A 12 month aftercare service including a free helpline.
The service is free for people who are eligible and also on certain income related benefits.
If you have any questions about switchover, you can call the Digital UK advice line on 08456 50 50 50 or visit digitaluk.co.uk.
For further information on the Switchover Help Scheme visit helpscheme.co.uk or call free on 0800 40 87 654. Textphone users can call 0800 40 85 936.
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